I think I get the most sheer, uncomplicated delight from working with people who have time and space to explore their lives with Yi: mulling over decisions, inviting responses that explode preconceived ideas, asking the huge questions about purpose and meaning that can stay with you for a lifetime. These are good times to get to know the oracle and get some inkling of the extent of its possibilities (and yours).
But there are times when this kind of spacious exploration isn’t possible. I don’t mean when you have to concentrate on a particular decision, and ask systematic ‘sets’ of questions about your options, but those time when you’re swept along by events as if by a wave, coming up for air briefly before being seized again by the undertow. Meltdown time: collapsing support structures, a demented mix of impossible decisions and an onslaught of stuff where you can’t see any choices at all.
This is Change in the raw, a natural time to draw on your connection with Yi for guidance and companionship – but a hugely difficult time to find the mental/emotional space for it. Here are a few suggestions that might help.
- Spend whatever time and energy you can find for readings on a small number of them. Don’t go hexagram-hopping: readings you’re not sure about can easily become just one more source of stress.
- Ask about what you can do, or how you can be. If you can, resist the temptation to ask about how things will work out in the end. Typically there are so many ‘if’s involved that the answer to such questions will be bewilderingly complex. Asking for guidance is far more help to you now, and makes you feel much more supported.
- As a rule, try to work with one reading at a time, so you can digest it and act on it before moving on to the next. Avoid piling on more related readings; especially, beware piling ‘ifs’ on ‘ifs’. (‘If I did x, and then I chose y, what should I do about z?’)
Sometimes crisis leads to a question-frenzy; sometimes it means a kind of ‘in the headlights’ sensation when you can’t think of anything to ask that would help. What you need is something between the two: just enough so that you always have something from Yi in the back of your mind.
To begin with, it’s always good to ask for overall guidance – a simple ‘Help!’ kind of reading, or ‘How can I live through all this?’ That’s one to carry with you (maybe literally, by writing a few key words on something pocket-sized) and keep in mind.
Beyond that, you might want to ask about your most immediate next step, instead of trying to make an all-encompassing plan – how best to handle today’s challenge, or what if you take a particular course. Or – if available choices are few and far between, and challenges don’t arrive on schedule – you might get into the routine of asking for advice for the week ahead. That’s always a good way to keep in touch without the unneeded pressure of having to think up the ‘right’ question to ask.
One final thought – Yi’s an extraordinary companion and source of guidance, and it works well together with human expertise, and ordinary human listening and support. It doesn’t substitute for them, though.
I hope this is helpful. Any thoughts or comments on what you find works, and what doesn’t?